For my work experience I Helped put on a day at the RoundHouse rising festival in March 2018. My role was as a creative programmer in which I worked with a team of three. This meant my job was to design the programme, what types of artists and performers we wanted for the event and then to find and book artists for the program that fitted. But I got lots of say in other departments.
I spend lots of time going to Festivals in the summer, I work for a food van and pre pitch camping company and when i’m not working at them I often go with friends just for fun. When it comes to winter, I still go to one day and evening events. I’m really passionate about music and I really love all of the work that goes into putting on events, there is a very magical spirit and atmosphere created. That’s why I decided for my work experience to look further into my passion and to actually try and find some experience in festival and event management. As I was living in London my first step was by searching the web for companies Involved in putting on events, I used my own knowledge of companies I knew already and also searched for new ones. One specific company that stuck out was The Roundhouse in Camden, as I already knew about it’s prestige reputation for being a good company and I knew they had been a venue that has had many years of experience in putting on events and festivals with brilliant ethos behind them. I found in researching that they had a festival producing course for young people and I immediately wrote my 2 page application. I got selected out of over 100 people to join a further group interview day where we showed our knowledge through activities based around putting on an event with 20 other people. I managed to get through that process and got invited with 10 other people to join the course.
Before Starting I did research into the types of roles there is involved in event companies. I looked at the website festivalandeventproduction.com at their guides and resources, looking at the different roles within the event industry. I then tried to pick a few roles I would be interested in exploring. I looked at projects put on my event companies and their involvement with other businesses. I then spent a long time looking and reading through the roundhouse website. I looked at how they structured their website and their branding to see how an event institution and company sets up and lays out their website and information. Also looking at each sub page categories and the kind of events they put on. I looked at the mission, values and ethos with in the roundhouse and different event companies so I could think about the kind of things I would have to consider and goals to work towards when working for one.On thing I found with the Roundhouse is that their main purpose is to “create and transform”. believe creativity gives us freedom, hope and has the power to transform.
Here is proof of my experience with The Roundhouse. My confirmation of becoming part of the team was via phone call, so this is the first email I got after that.
For my Final Audio Project I had a few key areas and companies I thought I wanted to potentially work with. I decided the best way to go about finding a commission was to think about the things that really interest me in life. I thought under the branches of gardening, poetry and art. As I have now felt I want to change my career path, I have been trying to link my projects to things around the other fields of work I am thinking of working in. One of those areas is environmental work. I have developed a very keen interest in plants and permaculture as well as learning about the benefits of plant use and gardening. I looked at some community gardens and city farms and garden centres. I decided to first ask two companies I had previously gone to workshops with Urban Growth and Hackney Herbal.
The company I got my commission for which very handily only took one email and meeting, was with Hackney Herbal. They doing all sorts of workshops and events for people teach them about herbs.
Here is an email from the head of Hackney Herbal which proves my commission.
To research and come up with an idea for this project and for this company, I spent a long time looking at their website and their Facebook page, thinking about different angels I could approach putting what they do into audio. As herbs are quite a niche subject there wasn’t many examples of any pieces of audio about herbs. The most similar concepts I could look at where promotional pieces of work for community gardens and some cookery school programmes and some gardening podcasts. This helped me think about what sound effects I would include in my genre of promotional audio. As there wasn’t many previous examples, my main way of researching how I could design my audio was from really grasping the messages and vibe that Hackney Herbal was trying to portray.
What I learnt
I am very proud of what I achieved with my time at the Roundhouse.
I learnt how to create contracts and to artist agreement forms
I learnt how to market an event
I learnt how to send persuasive professional emails
I learnt how to organise budgeting, and working with a very small budget, and how to make deals with artists
I learnt about how to create work schedules and programs – I have now realised that spreadsheets are SO important for planning!
I learnt how to deal with difficult people and to cater to all needs
I learnt how to work in a team and create focus groups, using google drive to share work with other departments of the roundhouse and the teams
Getting information from artists to put in a barouche and for a website
Creating health and safety risk assessments
Creating artist welcome packs
Dealing with Invoices
Getting band equipment requirements and set up needs
I learnt to to be resourceful and I use as many connections as I could with people I knew that could help with the project.
One thing I found with both festival producing and my audio commission is that it can be difficult to be on time with targets set in the production process. This is especially when relying on confirmations from artists/other departments in events and with contributors for an audio project. At the Roundhouse we had a deadline set to have all the artist to have filled out a contract so that we could release the programme and complete our poster to put on social media and our flyers. But getting artists to be consistent filling out forms along the process wasn’t always that straight forward. So I learnt to be persistent in emailing and following up with forms so that the production can move along steadily.
I also learnt to combine ideas to make better ones. It important that all thoughts and suggestions in the planning and management we herd. One thing that made everything always run smoothly was when we tried to use everyones suggestions in some way so that everyone agreed on decisions. This meant tasks could be completed more quickly. I learnt that is important to update all departments of all progress to help with the process of their departments moving forward in tasks. I also learnt of ways to go round dealing with requests that were not possible and how to make compromises that our artists and contributors where happy with, doing the very best to do all we could to make everything as easy as possible for them so that they would have trust in us and we could have the best performances possible.
What I learnt from working with an external commissioner is that you have to have patients and a lot of flexibly time on your hands. You have to listen to what their ideas are and you have to make sure you keep them updated with what is going on with out bothering them too much, remembering that your project is important to YOU but if they are busy with the company you have to accept that and work around them. Having plans and meetings is very helpful with the process. Communication is key. You have to be very clear in what you would like from contributors.
I learnt how to manage having a lot of audio that needed to be condensed into a much small piece of audio. One of my interviews was an hour and then my others ranged from 15-20 minutes and my final piece had to be 15 minutes in total. This made me have to really focus on what were the key moments from the interviews and what pieces would fit with other dialogue from the interviews. I also learnt to be creative stylistically in production. I came up with numerous idea of ways to create my piece which I discussed after with my employer and agreed on what would work best and sound most interesting. With a topic like herbs that you would think may need to be visual, so I had to think about how I could create an image of the herbs and the stories being told with in the audio. I want the piece to be peaceful and calming so I thought about music I could use to create that. This gave me all more knowledge into what its like to make a promotional piece into some thing unique and imaginative.
One thing I had to overcome with my commission is losing some important work close to the deadline. This was a difficult thing to get to terms with but I managed to solve the problem and had to edit an older version again which I managed to do in time of the deadline. This helped me understand how to be resilient and believe in myself I can work hard and fix the issue.
Where I hope to go next
It is very hard to say clearly what my aspirations are in life right now… my mind changes like the wind! But I’m fine with not having my heart set out on one thing. Currently, I have been saving and planning a route to go traveling around the world in 3 years. After that is when I will work towards finding a career path I am interested in. But within this last year there has become some clearer ideas of the kind of sectors I may be interested in working in.
One of them being working in Events. After working with the RoundHouse, it has really pushed me to find more work or internships with in this industry. I really enjoyed my experience there and have felt that it was something I felt quite good by the end and that felt the it could be one of the right sectors for me to work in. One of my course leaders was part of a company called continental drifts. Continental is a huge world wide company that works of events globally and with in the UK, for festivals and smaller things like community events too. So I may apply for an internship there.
After years of his career working for the RoundHouse Peter Quinn now works for a different company called Music for Youth which is a charity that goes around the country giving a chance for young disadvantaged kids to participate in music workshops. With my huge passion for music, this is also a company I would be keen on seeing whether they needed any help with or had an internships. I have volunteered for a Charity that is music for disabled adults called Joy of Sound for over a year and I enjoy it so much so I love the thought of helping disadvantage youth be able to enjoy music too.
I have always been quite environmentally conscious and interested in the natural world and working with Hackney herbal definitely enhanced my interest in plants and how they work and how the properties they can hold that can help humans, making me see why they are precious and how we must make more of an effort to help nature grow. So I have become more interesting in the thought of working with plants either in conservation, sustainability or as a gardener.
The five practical steps which I will follow to help me on to the next phase:
Researching more into the fields I am thinking of working in
Try out some work experience within the sectors I would like to work in
Narrow down to one sector
Find more experience in that particular sector
Apply for jobs in that sector
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